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Comets recover from slow start

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(Michael Krabbenhoeft/mkrabbenhoeft@saukvalley.com)
Newman's Megan Rosengren (9) hits the ball over the net while St. Bede's Olivia Mueller defends during Thursday's match at Newman. The Comets won 25-22, 25-16.

STERLING – The first set of Thursday's match between Newman and St. Bede concluded with a nice set by Kacyi Howell that Rachel Humphreys emphatically spiked onto the Bruins' side of the court.

The execution was a stark contrast to how the Comets started the set and a harbinger of things to come in the second set, as Newman won the nonconference match 25-22, 25-16.

"I think we finally started to go on the attack," Newman coach Debbi Kelly said. "At the start of the night, St. Bede was attacking, and we kept making mistakes. When we started to attack, they started making mistakes."

The Bruins jumped out to a 7-2 lead with five of those points coming on Newman hitting errors.

The Comets (2-0) rallied back to make it 8-5 before more hitting and serving errors allowed the Bruins to open up a 13-6 advantage.

"We have to start out more focused," Newman's Megan Rosengren said. "We have to concentrate when we are serving and run our offense better."

The Comets didn't allow the slow start to determine the outcome of the set.

Instead, they started to chip away at the Bruins' lead.

Aubree Schmitt held serve for four straight points to get Newman as close as 13-11.

Then after a pair of points by St. Bede, Newman scored three points on three hitting errors by the Bruins to tie the score at 15.

After the teams traded points, Newman got back-to-back kills from Rosengren and Howell, giving Newman its first lead at 19-18.

"Once we got the momentum, we started serving better and started running our offense better," Rosengren said. "I think we were more relaxed and started to get more confidence."

Newman won six of the next 10 points to claim the first set.

The Comets kept on the throttle in the second set, building six-point leads at 11-5 and 12-6.

The Bruins made the rally then, tying the score at 14, and forcing Newman to call timeout.

The timeout did the trick, as Newman outscored St. Bede 11-2 the rest of the way.

Rosengren had five kills, five digs and 11 service points. Allison Shipman had seven assists while Aubree Schmitt has seven service points and four kills.

"We saw some really good things today," Kelly said. "Aubree Schmitt got out there and did a nice job putting the ball down. For the second match of the year, it was good to see us recover like that."

Olivia Meuller led St. Bede with three kills and two blocks.

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